What's the used Mini Roadster like?
The Mini Roadster is the convertible version of the two-seat Mini Coupé. It's not to be confused with the Mini Convertible, which is a four-seater, despite sharing the same dimensions as the Coupé and the Roadster.
Indeed, the Roadster’s aim was to steal sales from sportier cars like the iconic and purposeful Mazda MX-5, rather than maintain the modicum of practicality that soft-tops based on existing hatchbacks often display.
Underneath, it shared all its underpinnings with the Coupé, and it offers three different versions of the familiar Mini 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 2.0-litre diesel. The basic 122bhp 1.6 is reasonably quick, while the top-of-the-range John Cooper Works (JCW) version packs 211bhp, making it a positive flyer.
In the way it attacks corners, the Roadster is brimming with agility and offers the driver a great deal of involvement, especially so in JCW trim. The payback for all this is a firm ride in the lower-spec versions and a positively crashy one in the sportier trims. There's also a fair amount of shake and flex to the body as the car passes over broken road undulations.
The Roadster is also, it has to be said, very noisy and a bit impractical. The dashboard's also a mess of switches that are overly styled and poorly located. The standard kit is a little spartan, too, in base spec, but there are a bewildering wealth of options to choose from, all adding kit in various stages.
But you might forgive the Roadster's flaws when the sun comes out and you lower the roof. It's a truly open car, and putting the power-assisted hood down is the work of an easy five seconds. Then what you will have is an agile and quick little car adept at enlivening the senses.
Sales of the Roadster (and the Coupé) were never expected to be a huge proportion of total Mini sales, and the car was eventually discontinued without replacement in 2015.